The University of New Mexico’s organization for Supporting Technology Transfer and Catalyzing Economic Development (STC.UNM) has received a five-year grant from the federal U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) under its University Center Economic Development Program to foster economic development in the region.

EDA is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce. EDA's University Center Economic Development Program makes the resources of universities available to the economically developing community. Using the grant awarded, STC.UNM will establish a university center to promote economic growth in the region.

According to the EDA’s Website, the U.S. Department of Commerce has invested $2.5 million to strengthen innovative and economic growth initiatives. Colleges and universities in 13 states have been awarded funding through economic development competition.

STC.UNM is one of the EDA’s 2018 university center competition grantees, along with many other announced by its regional office in Austin, Texas. The funding is awarded to different universities across the country through a competitive process that explores the ways to promote and enhance economic growth and activities in respective regions, according to the EDA website.

The project description on the website states STC.UNM will receive $112,850 through the Lobo Rainforest to support high-growth entrepreneurs. It will also provide training and technical assistance to UNM campuses across the state. The website also says STC.UNM will develop new seminars and use existing programming to create a certificate program in entrepreneurial capabilities and will provide professional development opportunities through a blended model of training and support.

Elizabeth Kuuttila, CEO and president of STC.UNM said, “The focus of STC.UNM is to promote entrepreneurial trainings and student businesses to foster economic growth in the region.”

STC.UNM does commercialization work for the University. Kuuttila’s office partners with other University organizations, particularly the UNM Innovation Academy, she said. The focus is on two primary audiences — students and community, she said.

STC.UNM plans to focus in on the graduate and undergraduate students from all of UNM’s campuses and the surrounding communities. Kuuttila said students will receive credits if they attend training sessions and seminars offered by the STC.UNM, adding that people from the communities will get certificates for attending sessions and seminars.

STC.UNM and the Innovation Academy intend to contact the heads of all branch campuses to inquire about the particular needs of their communities, Kuuttila said.

“We are focusing on the use of technology in the business and we are calling it e-commerce,” Kuuttila said.

STC.UNM also plans to introduce some new courses like the one already being offered by the Innovation Academy titled “I can build my business (create, sell, bank)” to enable and promote business and entrepreneurship.

Robert DelCampo, executive director of the Innovation Academy said, “We are excited about it as it is a great opportunity for entrepreneurial training to build your own businesses.”

With the STC.UNM, Innovation Academy plans to launch an online blended model “course for credit” across all the campuses, DelCampo said. This model will train the emerging students and people from the communities. These students will be guided by experts and instructors.

Tasawar Shah is the news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @tashah_80.